Lately, though, the company has been undergoing a reawakening, with a series of striking products that includes the XPS 13 and the Venue 8 7000, a Android tablet. The Venue 8, as it from here on out, is notable mostly for its design, marked by a stunning OLED display and a skinny 6.mm-thick frame. It also happens to be the first tablet with Intel’s Real Sense 3D camera setup.
The Venue 8 7000 Series features an 8.4-inch, 2560×1600 edge-to-edge display powered by a modified Intel Atom quad-core processor clocked at up to 2.3-GHz. Also, a notable surprise: There actually is a Micro-SD slot in this thing, contrary to what we thought back in September. That’s good, because there’s only 16.GB of internal storage—being able to supplement that with up to 512.GB of Micro-SD space is a huge boon. Dell’s also touting the camera capabilities of the Venue 8 7000 Series. This is the first tablet to integrate Intel’s Real Sense Snapshot Depth Camera. Every single picture you take attaches to a depth map that can later be used for various editing techniques—adjusting brightness, changing focus, etc.
Still, there are some companies that continue to not just build tablets, but also produce interesting designs. One of them is none other than Dell, a company whose track record includes some sensible Windows slates, a series of forgettable Android tablets and a phablet that was ahead of its time. As you can see, the Venue 8 is a high end device in most areas, at least when evaluated on paper. The limited storage configuration of 16GB is one of the few question marks, though the microSD slot helps; the GPU is also going to be potentially limiting. Note that Dell also offers an optional wireless keyboard/case as an accessory. The rest of the review will determine how well these specifications translate into a good real world experience, but before jumping into the technical details it’s important to discuss the design and ergonomics of the Venue 8.
However, there is a unique aspect of the Venue 8’s design that needs to be addressed, which are the unconventional bezel proportions and speaker positioning.On most tablets, you’ll see a bezel of equal width on every side, or a a pair of equal bezels on the top of bottom, and a pair of equal thinner bezels on the left and right sides that are thinner than those on the top and bottom.